How Online Gambling is Muscling in on Real Casino Action


Real-world casinos take a hit as more people gamble online. ©Kym Koch Thompson / Wikimedia

Casinos have always made money, and they always will. But with the advent of the digital age, more and more people are looking for cheaper and more convenient alternatives, resulting in a boom in the online gambling industry that is quite frankly hard to believe. These days, there are hundreds of online casinos offering everything from video poker to slots, blackjack to roulette and plenty more.

The Rise of Online Gambling

For some reason, many people have a natural suspicion when it comes to gambling in real-world casinos. Perhaps it’s due to the belief that the “house always wins” or maybe it’s all those Hollywood movies that tell us that casinos are veritable dens of iniquity. This couldn’t be further from the truth as many casinos are clean, comfortable and very safe places to be. Nevertheless, people are leaving the old casinos in droves.


However, as we mentioned earlier, the real-world casino’s loss is the online casino’s gain as millions of people have taken to playing casino games online. For quite a while now, we have seen a significant rise in the online gambling market. In the last eight years alone, the industry has doubled in market value, and it’s showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

market grow

The market is expected to grow by over $5 billion in 2018.

Online vs. Real World

So, what’s so great about online gambling? Why do so many people consider it a better choice than the traditional casinos of old? Well, there are a number of reasons, but here are the most notable.

A Haven for the Novice

In the real-world casino, the novice player understandably feels a sense of trepidation before every hand or roll of the dice. Their nerves play tricks on them and cause them to perhaps make decisions without thinking of the consequences. For novice poker players, nerves are a big problem as their “tells” are quite easy to read to the seasoned pros.

In the online world, no such problems exist. Decisions are easier to make as players don’t have the pressure of the dealer or other players watching them. They can also pull out of games as they wish without any sense of embarrassment. In truth, it’s the ideal training ground for a new player.

A Matter of Convenience

Depending on where a player lives, simply getting to the casino could be more effort than it’s worth. Driving five hours just to play the slots or sit at the roulette table doesn’t make sense. For these people, sitting around the kitchen table with friends is the only regular action they’ll get, and that is a poor substitute for real casino games.

I’m sure we don’t need to explain this, but we’ll go ahead and do it anyway. The online casino eliminates every issue of inconvenience you can think of. No need for real cash as you have an account, no need for travel as you can play anywhere and our favorite, no need to get out of your PJs because no one is watching anyway.

The Cost

Now, playing casino games in the real world doesn’t have to be a costly venture at all. If you control your bets and stick to your budget, then it’s a relatively inexpensive way to have some fun and possibly win some extra cash. However, the costs involved in a night at the casino can easily get out of hand.

Travel expenses, hotels (if a player lives too far away), food and drink, and that’s before you even consider your budget for the tables. Yes, you can cut down on these expenses, but because nights at the casino don’t come along too often, players tend to “make the most of it” and spend a little more than they had budgeted for.

When playing online casino games, the player is in complete control of every penny spent. No need to travel, no need to dine out and no need to bet too much. The convenience of online gambling means that players will often play for less time, knowing that they can return when they have free time later. And of course, this means that they spend less money at the virtual tables than they would at the real ones.

How Things Changed

There is a definite shift in people’s attitudes towards the handling of finances online. Only a decade ago people were still a little reluctant to enter credit card details into any website form. And although the first online casino came into existence in 1994, more than 10 years later, they were still eyed with suspicion much the way that non-gamblers viewed real-world casinos.

It’s no coincidence then that as people began to trust online transactions more and more, the online gambling industry also started its rapid rise in market value. This boom in the industry also coincided with advances in technology that saw faster internet speeds, more powerful home computers and better security protocols to protect players’ finances and identities.

And all of this was before the first smartphone came into existence. An innovation that changed everything. Now, we not only have the opportunity to play at home but also on the go. Whether it’s in bed, on the bus or on a lunch break, players now have more chances than ever before to enjoy their casino games.

What the Future Holds

So, what does this mean for the casinos in Las Vegas and Macau? We imagine very little. Real-world casinos in resorts and big cities will always draw the crowds, particularly the tourist masses. But as for small casinos, it could be the beginning of the end. While the massive chain resorts and casinos can make up their losses in the restaurants and hotels, small casinos will soon notice a decline in profits. Perhaps they won’t close, but the license to print money that casinos once had in the 70s, 80s and 90s has been revoked.

Online gambling is where it’s at now. And with our obsession with smartphone technology and conducting all our activities online, it’s hard to imagine anything but a sharp decline in traditional casino attendances. Online gambling is muscling in on its real-world counterpart, and in truth, we can see only one winner. In a decade, casinos will be vacation attractions, surviving on the tourist dollar and hosting big money tournaments (which incidentally, usually require entrants to qualify through online satellites). The digital age is here, and the world of gambling has finally caught up.